John McCail was an artist who worked mainly for the Amalgamated Press, but also for some smaller publishers in the 1940s. Born in West Hartlepool as the son of a shipyard worker, he started out working in the shipyard himself while taking evening classes in art.
Around 1920 he found employment in the art department of the D.C. Thomson paper The Courier. He settled in London as a freelance artist in 1925. He began an association with Amalgamated Press and contributed to this publisher's magazines Joker ('Abdul the Desert Robber'), Sparkler ('The White Knight'), Sunbeam ('Son of an Outlaw'), Crackers ('The Ruby of Ra Tae'), Comic Cuts ('Pantha the Bandit', 'Duke, Dan & Darky') and Jolly Comic ('Get-Your-Man Gilligan').
He also did illustration work for The Champion and The Triumph, including a cover for the UK introduction of 'Superman' in 1938. His comic 'City of Jewels' was published in Mickey Mouse Weekly in 1931. During World War II he and his artist brother Bill worked for publisher Gerald Swan. He contributed to titles like Slick Fun, Thrill Comics, Extra Fun, Topical Funnies, Fresh Fun, Comicolour, and Dynamic Thrills.